Is Quentin Tarantino’s latest an Old West retribution tale best accompanied by Johnny Cash’s ”Ain’t No Grave,” or an ultracool vengeance-flick pastiche dying for the funk of James Brown’s ”The Payback”? It’s both! Find the Songs On Cash’s posthumous American VI: Ain’t No Grave and Brown’s 1973 masterwork The Payback.
Celese and Jesse Forever
It’s the same old story in Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones’ bittersweet rom-com: Boy meets girl. Girl dumps boy. Boy can’t stop charming girl with his hilarious faux-German accent. Girl tortures herself with awesomely depressing breakup songs, like Porcelain Raft’s indie-pop heartbreaker ”Drifting In and Out.” Find the Song On 2012’s Strange Weekend.
The Great Gatsby
At first it’s all flappers, hooch, and West Egg hedonism, set to the gloriously anachronistic thump of Jay-Z and Kanye’s ”No Church in the Wild.” But Jack White’s cover of U2’s ”Love Is Blindness” bodes (spoiler alert, high school reading-list slackers!) more ominous ends for the romance between Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan’s Daisy Buchanan. Find the Songs On Jay and ‘Ye’s Watch the Throne and the U2 tribute comp AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered.
Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell prove politics (and political hair) isn’t pretty in their congressional comedy; the Black Keys’ organ-pounding ”Gold on the Ceiling” backs the duo’s crossbowing, baby-punching battle. Find the Song On 2011’s El Camino.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Based on the popular book, this coming-of-age story gives three high school outcasts (including Emma Watson) a perfect misfit anthem in Imagine Dragons’ ukulele-strummed ”It’s Time.” Even the chorus — ”I’m never changing who I am” — sounds like something a goth kid would carve into her desk. Find the Song On 2012’s Continued Silence EP.
Jay-Z’s ”Oh My God” outdoes lead actress Emma Stone for screen time in the trailer for this (sartorially) organized crime drama, costarring Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, and Sean Penn in fedora-and-suspenders-era L.A. Find the Song On 2006’s Kingdom Come.
Comedy bros Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill set out to destroy space aliens and blow up unsuspecting livestock — that is, if Skrillex’s irascible dubstep smash ”Bangarang” doesn’t beat them to it! To help, Dr. Dre’s ”Still D.R.E.” and Union Turnpike’s ”Oh!” provide backup. Find the Songs On 2011’s Bangarang EP and 1999’s 2001, and as a stand-alone single, respectively.
In David Cronenberg’s screen version of the claustrophobic Don DeLillo novel, Robert Pattinson is supposed to look sinister and mysterious but mostly looks surprised and sleepy, as if he only just realized what a dumb name Renesmee is. Good thing he has Nine Inch Nails’ crunchy, haunting ”The Wretched” to handle the heavy lifting. Find the Song On 1999’s The Fragile.
For a Good Time, Call …
Are we supposed to believe that horny dudes in 2012 (like airline pilot Seth Rogen) would dial a phone-sex line on a smartphone that has access to all the digital hardcore the Internet has to offer? The only thing tethering such a quaint idea to the present day is M.I.A.’s pornographically funky ”Bad Girls.” Find the Song On iTunes as a single.
End of Watch
Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña play loyal LAPD partners ensnared in Something So Much Bigger Than Themselves in this Training Day-meets-Breaking Bad cartel caper, soundtracked to ”In the City” — which comes courtesy of Kevin ”Remember my one really big song, ‘Let It Rock’?” Rudolf. Find the Song On 2008’s In the City.